In 1994, she was the speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. In that speech she shared this story:
“Those who are materially poor can be very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition. I told the Sisters: ‘You take care of the other three; I will take care of the one who looks worse.’ So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, as she said two words only: ‘thank you’ – and she died.
I could not help but examine my conscience before her. And I asked: ‘What would I say if I were in her place?’ And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said: ‘I am hungry, I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain,’ or something. But she gave me much more – she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face.”
Jesus often calls on us to love our neighbor, all those whom we may meet, in a similar way. The Lord asks us to feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit the prisoner. At this time of thanksgiving, we need in particular to reach out to those in need.